By Danielle Silverstein of Where The Eff Is My Handbook
People say a girl should think of her body as a temple. I’m no history buff, but imagine an ancient temple that has been invaded, set into ruins, rebuilt, sometimes worshipped, but mostly inhabited far too often by humans who meant well but definitely wreaked havoc on this structure. Well, that’s the only temple to which I would equate my body.
At almost forty-years-old, I have carried three babies to term, miscarried one fetus, been cut open multiple times, and been poked and prodded by metal equipment (get your head out of the gutter…I’m talking about at the doctor’s office) more times than I wish to discuss, and frankly, I’m ready to retire my body as an historical property.
I’m proud of what my body has done and how strong it is. I’m grateful that it allowed me to bring three amazing children into the world. I could not be more thankful to be a woman who experienced pregnancy. But when my husband asked me to get my tubes tied since I would already be getting a c-section with my third child, I essentially laughed in his face. Even if there was little to no danger associated with it, even if it wouldn’t add to the recovery time and I would barely even know it had been done, I refused to put my insides through any more hardship. There was another option which seemed far more fair and, in my mind, made much more sense: “Hey honey, get a fucking vasectomy.”
I had spent nine months (three different times…that’s 27 total months) watching my husband drink wine, eat sushi and soft cheeses, not be nauseous, not understand when I was nauseous, and sleep in whatever freaking position he wanted to all night every night. He had stood by while the obstetrician literally took my organs out of my body in order to retrieve our children. It was time he took one…ok, two…for the team.
At first he flat out said no and was annoyed that I wouldn’t just go through with the extra procedure while already undergoing surgery. Both our dads had gotten vasectomies and they tried to convince him that it was no big deal and he should stop stalling. Slowly, he started opening up to the idea, although he had yet to make the arrangements to have it done. Neither of us wanted more children. It was either going to be that he took some initiative and showed that he actually did, in fact, have some balls, or we were going to live a life of abstinence, reclaiming our virginity for the greater good of society.
Ok, so I’ve never been much for willpower when it comes to food, alcohol, and sex. Probably due to a night which combined the latter two of those vices. Exactly four months after my third child was born, I was “late” and convinced I was pregnant. For three days I walked around crying and thinking about how I if I had two children born that closely together, I would probably wind up having to go against my strict rule of not dressing my kids in matching outfits. It would all be my husband’s fault, so of course he would have to understand when I hired a nanny, a personal chef and an around-the-clock trainer to get me back in fighting shape after a fourth c-section.
Speaking of spouses whose lives were in jeopardy, I walked around hating his guts. This was hard, because I really love my husband. But every time I looked at him all I could think of was how for the past twenty years of my life this man had caused me to be in a perpetual state of thinking I was knocked up, and I was DONE! Until there was a bag of peas icing his groin, he would have to stay at least ten feet away from me at all times.
Luckily, it turned out I was not pregnant, and there is a slight chance that some of the drama of that past week may have been due to an extra-strong bout with PMS. But I was staying true to my word. It worked, because the next day Adam was in the Dr’s office looking somewhat green as he waited to be called in. The procedure was short, and while he was uncomfortable for a day or two, he admitted how silly he had been to put it off.
Having the vasectomy was definitely worth it on many levels. For the first time since I can remember, I don’t worry every month that there’s even the slightest possibility that I’m pregnant. Whether or not it makes sense to anyone, Adam getting the procedure brought us even closer because although he was worried and uncomfortable, he went through with the procedure because he knew it was best for our marriage. It’s not that I needed him to prove it, but he really understood (after some convincing) why I didn’t want to go through another bout of recovery. It showed that he did value my body and how much it had been through for our family.
I laugh now every time Adam tells one of our friends to get a vasectomy. “It’s nothing…just go for it,” he tells them. I know he means it, and I’m glad he can give guidance to his friends who are contemplating it. It really is amazing how much women are expected to endure. It is all a total miracle while simultaneously being a small form of torture. I embrace the fact that my temple has battle wounds and scars. But I also do know that enough is enough. It’s time to let it rest and be praised for the bodies it has housed and kept safe. It’s time to simply…literally…just enjoy the fruits of its labor.
This post was originally published on Where The Eff Is My Handbook.
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